Title 46: Shipping
CHAPTER IV: FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION
SUBCHAPTER A: GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
PART 502: RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Subpart O: Reparation
502.254 - Attorney's fees in reparation proceedings.
(a) Scope. The Commission shall, upon petition, award the complainant reasonable attorney's fees directly related to obtaining a reparations award in any complaint proceeding under section 11 of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U.S.C. 41301-41302, 41305-41307(a)). For purposes of this section, ?attorney's fees? includes the fair market value of the services of any person permitted to appear and practice before the Commission in accordance with subpart B of this part, and may include compensation for services rendered the complainant in a related proceeding in Federal court that is useful and necessary to the determination of a reparations award in the complaint proceeding.
(b) Content of petitions. Petitions for attorney's fees under this section shall specify the number of hours claimed by each person representing the complainant at each identifiable stage of the proceeding, and shall be supported by evidence of the reasonableness of hours claimed and the customary fees charged by attorneys and associated legal representative in the community where the petitioner practices. Requests for additional compensation must be supported by evidence that the customary fees for the hours reasonably expended on the case would result in an unreasonable fee award.
(c) Filing of petition. (1) Petitions for attorney's fees shall be filed within 30 days of a final reparation award:
(i) With the presiding officer where the presiding officer's decision awarding reparations became administratively final pursuant to ? 502.227(a)(3) and ? 502.304(g); or
(ii) With the Commission, if exceptions were filed to, or the Commission reviewed, the presiding officer's reparation award decision pursuant to ? 502.227 of this part.
(2) For purposes of this section, a reparation award shall be considered final after a decision disposing of the merits of a complaint is issued and the time for the filing of court appeals has run or after a court appeal has terminated.
(d) Replies to petitions. Within 20 days of filing of the petition, a reply to the petition may be filed by the respondent, addressing the reasonableness of any aspect of the petitioner's claim. A respondent may also suggest adjustments to the claim under the criteria stated in paragraph (b) of this section.
(e) Ruling on petitions. Upon consideration of a petition and any reply thereto, the Commission or the presiding officer shall issue an order stating the total amount of attorney's fees awarded. The order shall specify the hours and rate of compensation found awardable and shall explain the basis for any additional adjustments. An award order shall be served within 60 days of the date of the filing of the reply to the petition or expiration of the reply period; except that in cases involving a substantial dispute of facts critical to the award determination, the Commission or presiding officer may hold a hearing on such issues and extend the time for issuing a fee award order by an additional 30 days. The Commission or the presiding officer may adopt a stipulated settlement of attorney's fees.
(f) In cases where the presiding officer issues an award order, appeal of that order and Commission review of that order in the absence of appeal shall be governed by the procedures of ? 502.227 of this part. [Rule 254.]
[52 FR 6331, Mar. 3, 1987, as amended at 58 FR 27211, May 7, 1993; 64 FR 7811, Feb. 17, 1999; 74 FR 50716, Oct. 1, 2009]